Antec NeoPower 650 Review

Admin - 2007-10-31 19:44:26 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: November 27, 2007
Price: $129.99

Introduction

To the educated masses, power supplies are the necessary evil close to the top of the build list when specing out a new machine. Unfortunately, for the rest, power supplies seem to be an afterthought in the build process and often, what little budget is leftover gets used on a sub-par power supply or a case/power supply combo. I have seen too many posts in the forums from users complaining of system instabilities only to have it boil down to a weak or underrated power supply. With today’s power hungry components, having a quality power supply with enough overhead to run efficiently is more important than ever.

 

Closer Look:

The Antec NeoPower 650 comes in a glossy gun metal and orange themed box touting quiet computing, customizable power, and support for dual graphics card on the front of the box. The back of the box lists some specs and connector info. The sides of the packaging list additional information about the NeoPower 650.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening the box reveals efficient packaging, utilizing an egg crate for protection of the NeoPower 650 The cables are packed separately on top with the NeoPower 650 nestled at the bottom. Getting it out of the box shows the bag of component cables, the Antec NeoPower 650W power supply, users manual, 5 year warranty, bag of screws and the power cable.

 

 

Closer Look:

Getting the power supply freed from the packaging shows a gun metal grey powder coated finish on the case, with black sleeved main lines. The finish is done well, and even after a few screwdriver bites while removing the cover, there were no scratches to be seen in the powder coat finish. This is a big plus of powder coating over painting. The inlet side of the power supply is completely vented to promote airflow. Along the bottom of the power supply front are the 5 plugs for the component cables. All cabling is justified to the right to enable better cable routing against the back side of your case. Around back is the 80mm low speed ADDA fan that varies speed in response to load and temp conditions. The specification sticker graces the left side of the power supply showing the max current on each of the rails. Antec uses three +12V lines rated at 19A each to balance the current draw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is absolutely no need to open up a power supply, especially if it has had power going through it recently since the capacitors will hold a charge and give you a pretty good shock if you happen to short them out accidentally. We open it up so you don’t have to. Taking a look inside the power supply from the top, right away you notice the two large silver heatsinks used to dissipate the heat generated by the voltage regulators. Coming to the secondary side shows where the main lines come in and are soldered to the board. Antec does not use a component cable for the main lines and this is a good thing. The less “breaks” in the wire you have, the better voltage regulation you achieve. Behind the main lines you can see two of the filter coils on the PCB. On the primary side the dominating feature is the large PFC (Power Factor Correction) coil. The capacitor used in the NeoPower 650 is a Nippon Chemi-Con SMQ series 400V, 470µF.

 

 

 

Closer Look:

The bundled accessories that come with the NeoPower 650 consist of the user manual, 5 year warranty info, power cable and installation screws. Coming off the main line are the 24-pin main power connector that is adaptable to 20-pin for legacy motherboards, an ATX12V connector, an EPS12V connector, and a 6+2 PCIe power connector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The component cables consist of one 60 cm PCIe connector, two 77 cm Molex cables with three Molex connectors each (total of six Molex connectors if both cables are used), two 78 cm SATA cables with two SATA connectors each (total of four SATA connectors if both cables are used), and one 14 cm Molex to floppy cable with two floppy connectors. All of the component cables are wrapped in the same black sleeving as the main cables.

 

 

 

Installation:

Installing the power supply is a pretty straight forward affair as long you take your time and make sure all the cables that need to be connected are secure and tight. You will also want to make sure that the cables are not routed along any sharp edges when you are doing your wire management so there will be no future problems with electrical shorts. Start by powering down the system and unplugging the main power cord from the back of the installed power supply. Open up the sides of the case to access the internal connections on the motherboard and components. Remove the four screws currently holding the power supply in place. Make sure none of the cables are hung up on the internals, and remove the power supply. Installation is just the opposite. Place the power supply in the cage and secure with the four included screws (in this case I am using thumbscrews).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the power supply is secured, route the cables to the components, and plug them in. The NeoPower 650 only comes with four SATA connectors, which by today's standards, are not enough. This build has 2 SATA hard drives at the bottom and a SATA DVD-RW up top. The only way to route power to the DVD-RW was to install a Molex-to-SATA adapter. Connect the main wires to the motherboard headers. Check to make sure that they are all connected securely and you are ready to power it up.

 

 

 

Specifications:

  

AC INPUT

115V/230V 10A/5A 47/63Hz

MAX OUTPUT
CURRENT

+3.3V

+5V

+12V1

+12V2

+12V3

-12V

+5Vsb

24A

24A

19A

19A

19A

0.8A

3.0A

Max
Combined
Watts

170W

642W

9.6W

15W

Total Output Power

650W (Full Load, Nominal Input Voltage)

Efficiency:

85% at Typical Load

 

AC Input Voltage:

115V/230V

AC Input Frequency:

47-63Hz

AC Input Currents:

10A (RMS) for 115VAC input

5A (RMS) for 230VAC input

 

Features:

 

Testing:

Voltage measurements are taken with a digital multimeter with the probes inserted into an unused 4-pin molex connector for the 12V and 5V lines. For the 3.3V line, the probes are inserted into the appropriate pins on the 24-pin connector. The system is allowed to idle at the desktop with only system tray programs running and the results are recorded over 5 minutes in 30 second intervals and the average result recorded. For load readings, Stressprime 2004 Orthos Edition is run to hit the CPU and memory, HDTune for the hard drive, and 3DMark06 will stress the GPU. The same methodology is used for recording voltages. Temperatures are measured with a digital thermometer with the probe inserted into the case of the power supply to measure temps at idle and load.


Testing Setup:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

Antec has consistently offered high quality power supplies, and the NeoPower 650 does not deviate. The component system offers to reduce wire clutter, but for a full tower case, as in this build, all the cables were used except for the second PCIe cable. The NeoPower 650 would be great for HTPC users looking for a high wattage, high quality power supply that is quiet, and modular. During testing the voltage held steady on the 12V, 5V and 3.3V lines and there was minimal fluctuation on the lines. Coming into the review I had thought that the 80mm fan would be whining the whole time, but it was whisper quiet and was not an issue even when ramping up under load conditions.

The NeoPower 650 performed well given the hardware that was used. Calculating the wattage on the test system puts it at approximately 600W (depending on the calculator), so loading the system puts it in the 80-90% efficiency range. As indicated by the graphs, there was very little fluctuation in the lines and they held very steady. Antec needs to look forward and add more SATA connectors to accommodate current trends. The other missing item was the fan RPM monitoring connector, which is nice to have to keep an eye on things.

Pros:

 

Cons: